In March, President Donald Trump took a tour of the Gerald L. Ford aircraft carrier in Newport News, Virginia, and spoke with sailors and shipbuilders.
Now, talking about the visit in an interview with Time magazine, the POTUS recalled being told that the new carriers would use digital catapult systems.
“It sounded bad to me. Digital. They have digital. What is digital? And it’s very complicated; you have to be Albert Einstein to figure it out. And I said — and now they want to buy more aircraft carriers ... I said what system are you going to be — ‘Sir, we’re staying with digital,’” Trump said.
He then told them to go back to “goddamned steam” because, according to him, the digital system is “no good.”
"I said, ‘No you’re not. You’re going to goddamned steam,’ the digital costs hundreds of millions of dollars more money and it’s no good."
Responding to the president’s comments, a Pentagon official said, "I think he either has time-late information, or the information he has is not correct.”
It would probably be helpful for the POTUS to know that the new catapult Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS) is much better than the “goddamned steam” ones because it occupies less space on board, can launch unmanned aerial vehicles unlike steam catapults, takes up less in maintenance and can also speed up the launch of aircrafts.
It began sea trials in April and although some problems emerged during trials, improvements are being made before similar carriers are launched.